As I plan what to add this year to the LPO Scent Garden I am reminded how this garden began on my Oceanside Deck across highway one when I lived where I have my perfume studio on the ocean side of the Old Odwalla Building. The building was sold a couple of years back and the new owner offered generously to give me a new deck. That began the mass migration of my herb and flower garden in clay pots over to the Slowcoast Stream. There was a space that had been used for garden space by one of the previous owners of the Davenport Roadhouse.
I quickly put my herbs and flowers into the ground after we moved the Slowcoast Airstream from Swanton Berry Farm in February of 2015 almost two years ago now. The soil was pretty dry from not being amended for years, and had been host to malvas, borages, and wild chamomile.
The plants that went in:
1 Lemon Verbena
1 Rose Geranium
1 Nutmeg Geranium
1 Italian Oregano
It was a modest garden and it had to hold on while the drought was in full force and we did not give it much water, maybe a couple times a month.
The garden did not get much love that year and then that winter we had el nino. The winter garden became green for the first time, and everything looked perky. At the same time our Slowcoast haybale couches were soaked from rain and sprouting fungus, home to snakes and wood rats.
Jose helped me to move all the first year's hay bale couches over into the garden to create bays: rooms for the garden. Then Sophie came along, we hired Rachel who is studying soil science and both of them figured out the best way to fertilize hay bales, and get them going. It was a couple weeks to get that part going, watering in the hay bales, fertilizing and with Manure deliveries from nearby horse farms also from our staff.
After weeks of efforts, shoveling shit literally moving it around, we planted.
There were some successes. We had a beautiful sunflower forest, amazingly big zucchinis and some deep prange gorgeous heirloom cinderella pumpkins. In addition we were attracting bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. We added thyme in between strawberries, which have continued to fruit through winter, and are food for the grackles, ravens.
African Blue Basil is a favorite of mine and we planted it everywhere, along with salvias, and lots more lavendars, rosemaries, lemon verbenas and rose geraniums. The chocolate mint was spreading like a carpet, now, and people are walking on it as a path. It smells divine.
So, we have been maintaining the garden this winter with occasional weeding, and the wild chamomile is doing well, lavendar also and the costmary is surviving and thriving despite being beloved by snails.
We have a local black cat who seems to chase the gophers, and wood rats, and that is a balance in the garden.
Plan for this year is to add more mints: an orange mint, spearmints, more peppermints, more salvias, lavendars, and african blue basils, salvias, sunflowers, pumpkins.
I want to add some citrus, some passionfruits, jasmine, honeysuckle, and roses. The hay bales are in their third year and are becoming more like soil this year. They will be better able to support plants. Last year the cherry tomatoes did not get warm enough to produce much fruit, and what they did produce never really ripened.....so, we will skip that heartache this year.
Our Tree Dahlias are thriving in autumn and winter, though we keep them trimmed back in the spring and summer so that they don't shadow over the herbs and flowers. They bloom pretty pink in Nov and Dec but they have been wind damaged during the recent storms, so we will be trimming them soon, and they are very easy to grow.
We will be selling stalks, so check in if you would like to grow some. All you do is lay down the stalks bury them and give them some water. We hardly watered them two years ago because of the drought and they are truly thriving.
So, the new plants I will be adding in addition to doubling up on others already in, will be motherwort which is good for heart health, and we will use in teas, tinctures, serums, and lemon balm which is a good one for same. Mullein which grew at the base of the airstream oven in the back Slow Food and Sweet Pea garden I will try some of the seeds as we saved the stalk when we harvested.
Seeds we have that we will be planting:
sweet peas along the back garden fence
white sage which has really done well....will try to establish a whole area for white sage in the large garden. As of now we have it in the enclosed stream garden next to outdoor mirror.
Arugula will continue growing in the 411 box, inside the stream garden area. We will give borage an area this year to thrive in.
Other plants we put in last year that are doing well: helichrysum: curry. There are maybe six to ten plants and they are doing well. Using in perfumes.
I forgot to mention the sage plants, which are doing well, the marjoram, the oreganos, the thymes, and so forth. ALL of these are thriving and the senstive basils we had are gone so we will replace. We had thai, and many others.
More will be revealed. I just got two dibbles for planting seeds and transplanting seedlings and a trimming pincher device for deadheading plants.
We harvested and have allowed calendula to wander where it likes anywhere in garden encouraging the small seedlings.....we love this skin care beauty and is in bloom now.
We sell seeds at slowcoast.org from the harvests and from Dirt Lunch so please stop by to get your seasonal seeds as soon as possible.
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